Even as organizations expect CFOs to deliver predictive insights as well as accurate historical records, the rise of digital finance capabilities enables finance and accounting (F&A) data to be leveraged in new and incredibly valuable ways. Levers like smart analytics, intelligent automation and experience design enable real-time enhancement of company-wide operations and smoother execution of business strategies. CFOs should take a synchronized approach to evolve legacy and disjointed F&A systems from merely keeping the books to driving business value creation. Here are the key steps to take.
Redefine the target operating model.
CFOs need to lead the redesign of the global operating model to enable agility and digital empowerment of finance in times of changing business needs. This includes reimagining key processes and developing a well-defined digital roadmap for transforming different functions using analytics, automation, platforms and process redesign — all guided by new-age metrics focused on customer experience, automation and visibility.
For one international pharmaceuticals manufacturer, a new operating model required global process blueprints that would enable the redesign and standardization of processes across 22 entities in 10 countries. The manufacturer also needed an integration playbook to facilitate the integration of five acquired businesses and future mergers and acquisitions. Its solution included a digital F&A platform delivered as a service with a plug-and-play orchestration layer that enabled easy integration of 10 unique enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Such standardization and orchestration ensured the company could operate as an integrated whole to enhance efficiency, gain scalability, and improve performance on spend, working capital and revenue enablement. As a result, the company reduced total cost of operations by 50% and gained $45 million in business value.